Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.
Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud...
4.5 out of 5 stars
Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere is part of the ‘Costume Shop Mystery’ series and follows costume shop proprietor Margo Tamblyn who is trying to prove to her father that he made a good decision entrusting her with his life’s work. Unfortunately, her love of dressing up and her creativity may not be enough to save her from the predations of someone who is determined to change their quaint and personable town to a lucrative soulless tourist trap.
This cozy mystery is a great view of the challenges of running a costume shop around Halloween. I loved the puns sprinkled throughout the story as well as the imaginative costumes, and found myself chuckling at the name “Disguise Delimit” every time I read it. The descriptions in the story would be easy to follow to make your own version even without the nice instructions at the end of the book. This is a great example of a cozy mystery that keeps the icky murder aspect from being overwhelming while taking the reader on a madcap ride that provides plenty of red herrings and eccentric characters. There are some books that are just fun to read, and this is definitely one of them.
I haven’t read the previous story in the series, but the recap was sufficient to set the stage for some of the events in this tale while piquing my curiosity about previous events. The almost-romance is a little strange for me as I never did figure out if it was a cultural issue or just another eccentricity but I definitely enjoyed the small-town atmosphere and the wholehearted embrace of the creativity and entertainment of dressing up and Halloween in particular.
A copy of this title was iven to e for review